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The Cradle Will Rock

By Marc Blitzstein

Studio One - Walgreen Drama Center

October 5 - 15, 2006


The Story:
Written in 1937 by Marc Blitzstein, The Cradle Will Rock is a music drama. An extraordinary example of socially conscious theatre, Cradle depicts a conspiracy to subjugate workers and their calls for a union uprising. Set in fictional “Steeltown, USA,” Cradle has a disturbing relevance to the issues affecting labor today.

Artistic Significance:

The Cradle Will Rock is best known for the events surrounding the play’s opening in 1937. In the context of frequent bloody clashes between unions and corporations of the 1930s, Cradle’s subject matter was politically incendiary. Part of the Federal Theatre Project, a program of the WPA, the play was put ‘on hold’ at the last moment due to “budget cuts,” a move generally believed directly to target Cradle due to its political viewpoint. The efforts of producer John Houseman, director Orson Welles, actors, and the composer to open on time and the audience who witnessed that first performance has become as much a part of the play as the original composition. Brooks Atkinson of The New York Times wrote “the show raises a theatregoer’s metabolism and blows him out of the theatre on the thunder of the grand finale.” As Hallie Flannigan, head of the Federal Theatre Project said of Cradle, “the theatre, when it’s good, is always dangerous.” Our production will recreate the energy that many called the most moving theatrical experience of their lives. Don’t miss this theatrical legend.

Read more about The Cradle Will Rock from our newsletter.

The Cast

Cara Akselrad (Princeton Junction, NJ)

Eric Kahn Gale (West Bloomfield, MI)

Sari Goldberg (New York, NY)

Sara Greenfield (Plymouth, MI)

Brian Holden (Traverse City, MI)

Daniel Kane (Northbrook, IL)

Nick Lang (Franklin, MI)

Frank Maiorana (Sterling Heights, MI),

Christian Matjias

Kevin McCarthy (Atlanta, GA)

Sharif Nasr (Bay City, MI)

Alexandra Odell (Charlotte, NC)

Zoe Palko (Ludington, MI)

Pat Rourke (Port Huron, MI)

Eric J. Schinzer (Portage, MI)

Rebecca Schwartzstein (Bethesda, MD)

Rachael Soglin (Madison, WI)

Daniel Strauss (Washington, D.C.)

James Wolk (Farmington Hills, MI)



James Wolk and Rachael Soglin in The Cradle Will Rock


Director Robert Benedetti
Music Director Christian Matjias
Choreographer Melissa Beck Matjias
Scenic & Lighting Designer Gary Decker
Costume Designer Christianne Myers
Stage Manager

Stephen Sierks

Production Photos

Click here to view photos from The Cradle Will Rock.


Click here to view The Cradle Will Rock program.

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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower